God is separate and pure: holy. This week we’ll meditate on the holiness of God and how we become holy in the pursuit of it.

A Devotional Meditation on 1 Peter 1:15-16

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

Our Series on the Attributes of God

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Today’s meditation is part of a series focused on the attributes of God. I’m using Chip Ingram’s The Real God: As He Longs for You to See Him and A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy as references for definitions and some insight. If you would like to learn more about each of these attributes, I recommend starting with Ingram’s book (he quotes Tozer often).

A Definition of God’s Holiness

God is holy, he is other, he is different. In his difference he is purely love, purely moral, and without sin. All that we can imagine or grasp about health, life, peace, and beauty comes under the holiness of this God who is so different than anyone or anything that we know.

Chip Ingram

We know nothing like the divine holiness. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible and unattainable. The natural man is blind to it. He may fear God’s power and admire His wisdom, but His holiness he cannot even imagine.

A.W. Tozer

Devotional on God’s Holiness

With such weighty definitions of “holiness,” isn’t it shocking to meditate on a command to be holy ourselves? Who are we, with our sin and shortcomings, to be holy like God? To even come into His presence, much less become holy?

The good news is that God so longs for us to be holy and in His presence that He provided a path for us. We can best understand holiness as three phases along a journey.

Our journey toward holiness began with Jesus on the cross. His sacrifice, once and for all, allows all believers to be clean and come into the presence of God. We are holy at the moment of belief, and we call this justification.

But we can’t stop there! The Lord calls us and continually longs for us from His place of separateness. As we respond and move toward His holiness, we become less and less like this world, and holy as well. We call this sanctification, and it’s a life-long pursuit.

Exploring God’s holiness is not just a nice way to learn more about God. There are responsibilities that flow from deeper understanding. Our exposure to God’s holiness must lead to a clear reflection of it in our lives.


Not until we die, or Jesus returns, does our journey toward holiness end. And then, suddenly, it will be over, complete, and permanent. We will be wholly holy and in the presence of the Lord for all eternity. This is our glorification.

Our Response

Where are you on the journey? So many Christians are happy with their conversion and stop with justification. I languished in that place for years before the Spirit moved me into sanctification. It’s obviously better than not having Jesus, but it can be so frustrating if you don’t understand that you need to keep moving.

It’s one of the things I’m most passionate about; helping stalled Christians keep going toward His holiness. Not settling for a religious experience that’s defined by culture or denomination, but a pursuit of the pure holiness of God that fills us and transforms us until we’re a glowing reflection of Him for the world. How can we settle for less?

Everyone’s sanctification process is different, and much more qualified people than me have written about it at length. But I’d like to humbly offer you some suggestions that have helped me.

  1. Return to Him. Daily, hourly, minute-by-minute. Return to Jesus for his perfect example of love, sacrifice, and mercy. Return to the Spirit for direction, conviction, and understanding. Return to the Father for thanksgiving, honor, and worship. Practice prayer at all times.
  2. Submit to what He says. Only His holiness will lead to your holiness. Only His light can shine in your darkness and overcome. Ask for forgiveness; nurture obedience.
  3. Rest in Him. Sit still and silent in His presence, exposed before His gaze. Allow Him to see you and you see Him. With humility and strength accept who you are and who you are not. Allow the masks to fall and be loved.
  4. Go Forth. Be His walking holiness for others. There’s a great mystery that His light in us, despite our insufficiency, is sufficient for His work. In fact, it’s necessary for His work. Shine.

Suggested Meditation

Below is a look at my dialogue with the Holy Spirit while meditating on this passage. I meditate on the same verse every day for at least a week, and this is just a model to get you started. Meditating on scripture is a very personal journey and relationship with God, but you may find my Meditation Guide helpful. Subscribe now to my Newsletter and get immediate access to a Free Printable Library that includes meditation guidelines, a Meditation Journal Page, Scripture Writing pages, and bookmarks for this verse.

But just as he who called you: I close my eyes and rest in the truth that He has called me. He puts forth the call and expects me to reply. I am to answer because I was chosen by the most holy God. I ponder this and allow it to penetrate my unsure places.

is holy,: God is so holy. There are no words, no ideas, no thoughts that can contain His holiness. I am awestruck and silent before the holiness of the Lord.

so be holy in all you do;: I allow His holy presence to transform me. I surrender all my actions to Him in His purity and perfection. Anything in my life that keeps me from His holiness is sin and I turn that over to Him.

for it is written: This is a command from the Lord. I must listen and obey.

“Be holy, : I am to be set apart from this world, different, special, pure, perfect like Him. I close my eyes and try to imagine what that could look like. I see complete connection with the Lord and the death of my ego.

because I am holy.”: The Lord’s holiness creates my ability to be holy. I look to Jesus as my perfect example of holiness on earth. How did he love? Where did he go? What did he renounce?

Suggested Breath Prayers

For more info on Breath Prayers, visit the article You’re Just a Breath Away From God.

God is Holy

So I may be holy

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Are you transformed by God's Holiness?